Wednesday, 20 August 2014

What If Rob Ford Wasn't White?

It has been a while since my last entry, but with the madness circulating media outlets with the events unfolding in Missouri, I felt compelled to add my two cents on the topic of racial bias and how it is affecting the direction of our society.

As per usual, the media seems to always find a way of provoking outrage among the public by focusing on racial tensions and differences. Unfortunately, society makes this task quite easy, as one does not have to look very far to witness racialization among different cultural groups.

The police are often the easiest target regarding this, mainly because of the recent expansion allocated to their budgets and directives. A police officer in modern society packs more heat than the average GI in WWII, while this isn't surprising via a technology standpoint, it does invoke anxiety looking at it via a social and political standpoint.  Give someone enough firepower to knock down a house and act surprised when they actually do it?

Looking back at the scandal that surrounded Rob Ford and directly gave him infamy both in Canada and the United States, one has to question if his experience would be different had his skin colour been much darker. Many of the individuals starring in the crack videos with Rob Ford have either been incarcerated or killed, granted "workplace hazard" is common in the drug trade.  Even that phrase though, I saw the tape and Rob Ford's "friend's" had dark skin and the first thing I associated was a politician and his drug dealers as opposed to a politician and his friends doing drugs. CBC and other media outlets made sure to specify that those other individuals identified as members of the drug trade, but the connections have become way to common for my liking.

You could argue that individuals of colour have been in politics before and have been caught doing drugs, but have also came out on top. One good example being Marion Barry, former Mayor of Washington DC, who was also taped smoking crack cocaine. He eventually admitted to his offence, paid the price and later ran and won re-election. While his story is one of trial and tribulation, I cannot easily compare him with Rob Ford. Barry was deemed a civil rights success when he won his election and became famous because of it, later losing some of that fame due to his drug use. Ford on the other hand became famous due to his drug use as opposed to his election as quite possibly the dumbest mayor in Toronto.

Sadly, I believe had mayor Ford been of a minority group within this country, his process would have differed greatly. I cannot say for sure exactly how it would have played out, but I am quite positive he most likely would have been dealt with more severely and probably would have been arrested by now.

The question that remains is not only if this is a sign over a greater issue regarding racial stereotyping and punishment, but if political society in and of itself is still centered on the notion of white elitist males who can essentially do no harm. Frankly, it could be a little bit of both.

Ask yourself, would you line up to have your photo taken with Rob Ford if he was an over weight black man having admitted to crack? I look at most of the fan culture related to Ford's embarrassing show and the majority of people taking photos seem to be young and white. Which would explain the pop culture attraction Ford has created via his stupidity. Another question that stems from this is how it will impact political culture if he actually wins in the upcoming election? What precedent will be set if a politician admits to drug use and doesn't quite change completely, yet still retains his ability to run? Are we supporting a double standard in society that has probably existed for a long time now, but needs to be questioned?

While Marion Barry was lucky to win back the support of his constituents after his crime, one still must feel weary regarding the conduct of the officials we are electing to run our cities, provinces and country as a whole. I mean, there is no entry exam to determine political eligibility aside from an election, but come on! If our politicians are the physical embodiments of the very issue causing division and inequality within our society, where are we going from here?

How can we address racial bias and where do we draw the line to racialization if we hope to evoke positive change? In the Missouri example, we have blatant racism crossing the line from an accident to a full blown cause and effect situation. However, how can American society as well as Canadian society truly transcend when the very images and stereotypes that our society is tormented by are acceptable in television, movies and music. A "white" man cannot call a "black" man the N word, but we still see "black" men empowering themselves by calling each other it! This I believe has to stop in order to make actual progress.

Mayor Ford really fell into a stereotype himself and probably didn't even realize it. He continually states that he enjoys befriending individuals of certain cultural groups and then after being accused of crimes that are often stereotypically attributed to those groups, gets off with little to no punishment. Meanwhile, the irony of it all is that the very individuals he calls friends video taped the ordeal, only to have it backfire on themselves. Ford may seem like a dirty politician, but ask anyone how they feel about politicians in general and you will most likely witness dirty in the explanation anyways.

Will Rob Ford learn from this mistake? Will the people of Toronto learn from this mistake? Can society learn from it's own mistakes and bring all sides together to transcend a problem we should have transcended fifty years ago? Unfortunately, I cannot tell you for sure.

What do you think? I would appreciate some feedback on this and am interested in hearing how racial stereotypes have affected you and more importantly how you feel when people in power are treated differently based on their status and culture?

Until Next Time!   



Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Ontario NDP...Too Little too Soon?

Well...now that the dust has settled after Ontario Election 2014, we can look back and ask ourselves, what the hell happened?

What began as an election to punish corruption and dishonesty within government, soon became a fight against the evil, heartless, destructive, horrible, terrifying, counter-productive, satanic,backward and God awful Tim Hudak?

How? How? How?

The simple answer is well...simple.

FEAR

Kathleen Wynne and her Liberals should be given an Oscar for their grand performance in "Fear De La Mongering Pour Ontario." It's a huge hit in France and apparently rocked the box office here as well.

We all know that any good movie cannot succeed without an equally good director and with special thanks we turn the spot light to Tim Hudak, the very person able to easily open his mouth and give Kathleen Wynne the election she has dreamed of, while losing everything his own party worked to maintain.

Now, we can only look at Andrea Horvath and her NDP at the blatantly failed campaign they run. While the election promised action against a corrupt government, the people of Ontario simply witnessed a leader more comfortable with the status quo of repetitious attacks rather than actually proposing anything of substance that would not only punish the corrupt Liberals, but also provide Ontarian's with a plan of hope and success.

No, instead of the glorious leader filled with charisma, holding our hands and telling us that everything was going to be alright because, we were left with a primarily voiceless NDP that barely survived the Liberals dramatic performance of fear, something which often times entangled them and pushed them into the same light as Tim Hudak.


I have heard many news outlets and media personnel argue that Andrea took the party to much to the centre, pushing to far right in order to appeal to the masses within Ontario. Trust me when I tell you that this was the farthest from the truth. If anything, moving the NDP focus toward the centre allowed the NDP to grow up a little bit, after all..who wants a government that solely caters to a few at the expense of  the majority? I think it is safe to say that the only governments that exist on that premise with any popularity, often do so with bullets and bombs to back them up (Communist China or Russia anyone?).

Having made the choice to jump onto the partisan bandwagon myself, I feel a sense of filth after all has been said and done. I committed to the cause and assisted in helping my local MPP dominate his race. My area has remained a strong NDP fort in what has become seemingly a landscape of red. While I support my MPP very much due to his character and honesty as a politician, something rare in politics today, I still feel as if the joke is on me and my fellow Ontarian's.

Not only has Ontario Election 2014 provided the worst example to our children, it has also proven that nothing much is going to happen differently over the next four years. Yes, the Liberals have promised a world of change, but many people have failed to realize that their budget platform relies upon a foundation of employment cuts...much like the dreaded Tim Hudak's 1,000,000 jobs plan. While that dreaded job creation title will stick with many Ontarian's for decades to come, I fear what is coming next will scar us in an equal fashion.

I am going to spend some much needed time over the next few months re-evaluating my role in politics compared to my overall long term plans. While I got involved in politics to help people, I have found that unfortunately, the system relies to heavily on bloated bureaucracy that somewhere along the line left out the important things...such as the very people supporting the system...the voters.

Ontario has provided us with a closed experiment of the problems affecting Canada at large with Stephen Harper. A system that relies on close minded bureaucracy dominates and requires extensive reform, something other than American stylized politics however.

Essentially, Ontarian's utilized their strategic voting abilities and their inability to escape fear in order to stop one devil, by shaking hands with another devil.

It is going to be a long 4 years my fellow Ontarian's, however I doubt it's going to be anything but boring.

Until Next Time!

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Ontario Election 2014

I decided a few months ago that when an election was called, I would for the first time, sign up and support my local incumbent NDP member in an attempt to support a voice of reason. Having followed the big three political parties quite closely over the past few years, I have had little need to research scandal, embarrassment or horror as our elected officials have provided enough of that through their actions and proposed direction of our province.

Recently, I have had the chance to actually canvass my local riding and talk with people on a one to one basis, while asking them how they vote and what affects their choice. The responses and encounters I have witnessed have left me quite worried.

Many people have no idea what the hell is going on with politics in general or in some cases are oblivious that an election is even occuring. Now, granted this is to be expected when an election as fast as the one we are going through now happens, but the sheer number of people have left me speechless...almost.

In the past I was quite content with supporting both NDP and Liberal ideology and governments, however I must say that this election has changed all of that.  Another main reason why I have decided to take the partisan plunge, is due to the sheer disgust I have for the current Liberal government and the PC opposition. I mean, those reading this most likely feel similar to me, because you cannot make up the absurd actions that have gone on.

Analysis Time!

If you are wondering who to vote for and need a little help, this next part may greatly assist you...or it may turn you off from voting all together, either way, I recommend you continue reading.


Tim Hudak
I thought it was fitting to begin this analysis by talking about the Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak. This choice was not hard, since everything that has come out of Tim's mouth has attracted a lot of attention lately anyways.

I truly believe that Mr. Hudak has come out on the far right this election, because he is hoping that the results on June 12th will allow him to follow in his bigger buddy Stephen Harper's direction.

In a situation where your political opponents risk splitting the vote among their direct and occasional supporters, it makes so much sense that an individual wanting to become premier would take a hard stance on many very important positions. While Tim Hudak's words may seem asinine and they are, they guarantee that a dedicated hard core group of very right wing supporters will be voting for him no matter what. In fact, his words are so dangerous that they almost guarantee as fanatical a following as they support ideologically.

You have to understand that Tim Hudak worked very closely with Mike Harris during the "Common Sense Revolution" in Ontario. So much so that he has waited for the day that he would be placed in a position allowing him to further these ideals and create his own attempt at Common Sense 2.0.

If you are deciding to vote PC this election, you must also decide if your own personal ideals follow as hard a right as the individuals you are potentially selecting. A vote for PC is a vote stating that the extreme right is good for balancing a budget and that cutting back on government's size and impact will in fact do more for our society than it would endanger. This type of thinking is perfectly fine for individuals that want less intrusion into their own life and believe that everything must be achieved on your own without help, something that isn't wrong on its own.  If you are someone who believes in going to the hospital and not paying for service or allowing your children to go to public school, this decision becomes much more complicated and thus more difficult.

Andrea Horwath

If Andrea Horwath's NDP party had a theme song, it would most likely be "I want to hold your hand" by the Beatles. This excellent song is more of a recommendation than it is an insult however, as it seems Ontarian's need their hands held just to consider the possibility of an NDP government.

Personally, I believe voting NDP is not only right for the moment, but for the collective consciousness of Ontario. We have seen so many examples of foolish remarks and borderline criminal activities from our provincial government that a change is needed. A change that will allow all parties to reevaluate not only where they stand on the political spectrum, but who they stand for.

I commend Andrea for taking her party to a new level in it's existence. No longer is the NDP a socialist idea from a very optimistic person. It is now an official party within Canadian politics that should be taken seriously. Jack Layton made this clear in the last federal election of his career and life.

Many NDP supporters are worried because of the recent letter Andrea received from more senior party supporters, but I say only that this letter and their concerns are not relevant. If both the Liberal and PC parties were able to have a review conducted from their original founders/supporters, I can only imagine the wording and length such a letter would entail.

The NDP's platform also appears to be the most coherent. It puts the most important part of the political system first...the people of said system. If your worried about school cuts or wait times in hospitals lengthening, you need not if an NDP government is elected. Andrea has been promoting exactly what this province needs to not only jump start its economy, but give its people a better quality of life.

Unfortunately, Andrea needs to work on her presentation skills, because lately while she has had some excellent encounters, most of her public appearances come off as attacks ads more than messages of change. Someone gave me an excellent recommendation today that I believe would help correct this, Andrea needs to bring attention to finance minister hopefuls in her potential government and show the people that her caucus is not that of the Bob Rae days, because if anything is holding the NDP back, it is the not so distant memory of the Bob Rae government and its overall spending habits.

Still, with that being said, if Andrea's government ends up boosting education and health care with a billion dollars, do we hang our heads and cry or do you take a breathe of fresh air as the money is spent on something useful and not on cancellation fees for a poorly planned gas plant?

Kathleen Wynne

I will admit that when Kathleen Wynne was chosen to lead the Liberals, I was excited. In fact, I was eating sushi with friends as a nearby t.v displayed the announcement live. As excited as I was however, I also had a fear linger within me that her great fortune and the recent retirement of Dalton Mcguinty could not have come as a result of entirely positive news, a fear that would later materialize into a sad reality for our province.

Governments are allowed to make mistakes and will almost always commit them as they are made up of human beings. However, when a government makes 3 big mistakes and continues down the same path of reasoning in an attempt to maintain power...something needs to be done.

The Political Road Map believes in the proper direction of a government and it's people in order to build and maintain a healthy and prosporous society. When a government that commits borderline illegal actions, then continues to fight everyone in order to prove its legitimacy and "hard work", the direction and priorities of that government must be questioned.

Kathleen Wynne came out today and announced that she is open to a possible coalition with the NDP if required, something I find very odd considering just yesterday she was talking about how horrible the NDP are.

If you are thinking of voting Liberal, you need to take a step back and make sure you review some of the big events that have taken place over the past few years. Some homework is definetly required before you can finalize that decision.

When a government is in power to long, that power has the potential to corrupt it and throw it off course. With Dalton McGuinty stepping down and all of the scandal, it really shows that the Liberals need a change and a time out.

My Recommendation

If you want what is best for Ontario, I recommend you take my direction and vote NDP. Not because they are something hip or different, but because their platform is very similar to the Liberals suggestions, but includes a serious difference. That difference is something the Liberals cannot argue they possess right now and that is trust. We cannot trust a government that has gone to great lengths to fool its voters into thinking its actions were minor, when a lot of taxpayer money has gone missing. The NDP have some great ideas that they have been fighting to get noticed and now many of those ideas have been adopted by the Liberals.

Vote NDP and avoid the PC's, the memory of Bob Rae's government may still linger, but compared to the actions of the other choices, cannot come close to the justify that Andrea will follow the same path or do anymore damage than already has been committed.

Until Next Time!

Monday, 5 May 2014

Why Liberals Should Vote NDP in Ontario's 2014 Election

After a harsh and lonely break from blogging for a few months, I have decided to jump back on the horse and continue on.

I mean, with an Ontario election called 8 months early and a Liberal party getting away with craziness, who wouldn't feel the need to voice themselves!? Not to mention the equally if not more craziness from PC Tim Hudak, I don't know whether to dislike him as a politician or evil master mind...

I have long supported Liberal candidates and a few NDP ones to! However, when it comes to Ontario's 2014 election, I suggest that everyone take my advice and not vote Liberal.

Let's get one thing straight...I am not saying this because I was Timmy boy to win, because I think the entire province is cringing at the thought of Premier Tim Hudak or Sir Cut Everything!

As far as politics in Ontario go, don't you think it is time we send our politicians a message and try to enact real change? I mean, the Liberals have been in power for 10 years now! 10 years of running our provinces government and frankly becoming stale...

Why choose the NDP? If not because they represent something different, then only because they aren't the Liberal party or Progressives.

The Liberals did something I thought only Stephen Harper had the capability of doing...they spent over a BILLION dollars on cancelling gas plants and saving 4 or 5 Liberal seats...

Let's do an exercise...count to a BILLION in less than a minute!

Impossible? Yeah...now imagine how we as a province are going to pay for it, or should I say our children and children's children's children...

While many think the NDP made the mistake of not calling an election, I think she made the right call. Tim Hudak has shown himself to be nothing more than a shadow of his former boss...Mike Harris and Kathleen Wynne, while coming to office with promise, has become nothing more than a scapegoat for Dalton Mcguinty...a martyr that saved his legacy from being tarnished, allowed him to leave on a high note one could say.

So come on Ontario, get out there and vote NDP, because if we stop in our tracks and allow the status quo to continue, we have nothing to complain about when our beautiful province begins to fall apart.

The NDP started from the bottom, but you can bet they have your best interests in mind!

Until Next Time!

Monday, 7 April 2014

Vive le Quebec libre...ZzZz!

The Quebec Revolution, the idea of a Quebec as a singular entity separate from Anglo influence, appears to only live on in the extended dreams of Pauline Marois and her party.

"What a night!", seems like an underestimate of the events that have occurred in Quebec tonight. If this election is any indication of the steam the federal Liberals are accumulating, Stephen Harper better continue shaking in his boots.

It appears Quebecers have decided to favour a more inclusive and accepting province, one existing within the realm of Canada, arguably where it belongs. I for one am very happy with the results of tonight's elections and although I was unable to cast a vote myself, I feel that the people voting tonight made the right choices for Quebec as a province and Canada as a country.

United in strength by our differences and tolerances!

On a positive note, Madame Marois will not be alone tomorrow in her sadness and defeat, Microsoft officially ends its support of Windows XP tomorrow as well.

While a new era in Quebec begins, one must ask if Sovereignty will die as a result of tonight's results. The answer may not appear as a simple one, but given how intricate and complex politics in Quebec have been, I would not say that Sovereignty as an idea is dead at all.

Just look at Windows XP, while it may have lost support from the majority, people will still be running it on their computers and more up to date operating systems are built using it as a foundation.

If anything, I believe the Quebec Separatist Movement will ultimately use tonight as a lesson, one that explains how ideology and a one sided approach are not the tools used by a leading party, but by an interest group.

Quebec's flag may fly high with a strong blue and white colour pattern, but its people live on tomorrow with their own unique colours and beliefs, one big happy inclusive society that happens to speak French instead of English.

So, Vive Le Quebec Libre everyone and to all a good night!

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Online Alert! Convicted Rapist Using Social Media Dating Sites



You may be wondering why a blog dedicated to politics and philosophy is posting an online alert and I would like to set your mind at ease.

Recently, it was brought to my attention that an individual convicted of raping numerous women in his vehicle was once again active on various dating sites, it seemed only right to ensure that I spread this knowledge as much as possible. If this post saves another woman from being assaulted or led into danger than it has more than served its purpose. Also, this situation raises the question of how safe online interactions in general can really be, while the internet has provided almost unlimited possibilities in connecting people around the world, like anything, it has also opened the doors for predators to expand their networks.

Alas, I would like to introduce you to Najim Khairzad, a serial rapist, who has decided that he would like to find love online and maybe date a few girls here and there while he is doing it. What many people online will for sure not know about Mr. Khairzad, is that he enjoys finding women and choking them to near unconsciousness, where he can then forcibly penetrate them.



Love is universal and the human condition is social, we naturally want to be around other people and interact with them. That being said, when someone is convicted of such disgraceful conduct against women, it is in the public's interest to know about it.
       


Wait though...isn't he rehabilitated from his stint with the law and considering his rapes all took place in 2009? Well, considering that Mr. Khairzad's comments after the incident went a little like this..."I made a mistake associating with those women, they were all druggies and alcoholics, people make mistakes and I plan to move on," you might want to reconsider the idea that rehabilitation was successful in this case.

Please spread this post to your friends and family who may currently be using any kind of dating site, mainly free ones, but regardless make sure this information is made more public. Mr. Khairzad is only human, but individuals like him cannot be allowed to strike again and while this may not solve the scourge of sexual violence, it may assist in avoiding any future crimes from being committed by Mr. Khairzad.

Until Next Time!

Saturday, 15 February 2014

In Plain Sight: Autism in Canada

Many things happen during one's daily routine. People going to work, nature doing what nature does and society as we know it continuing on this ever revolving planet. What many of us miss however, are the small yet important things that occur during our daily routine, often right in front of our eyes, but with the amount of distraction one person witnesses on a daily basis, our obliviousness isn't difficult to explain.

One of these things I mention is actually an issue that I can guarantee affects you directly or indirectly through a friend or family member. This issue is Autism as a whole and the many different variations of it that exist. More importantly, the people affected by Autism and the fact that they are standing right in front of us, yet we seem to keep ignoring them. Mind you, we do not ignore them on purpose usually, no, it is more of a convenient ignorance that allows us to think our society will prosper, if not remain unaffected, however boy are we wrong.

I do not have personal experience with someone in my family or close circle of friends who have Autism, but I have been exposed to many public cases involving families in dire need. Many of these families have very young children and are suffering because they cannot afford individual treatment and the government cannot provide it fast enough.

Autism Spectrum Disorder can usually be diagnosed by age 2 in a child, however the wait list provided by our government currently requires 3-4 years before funding becomes available for treatment. This treatment I refer to is I.B.I or Intensive Behavioral Intervention, which often places an Autistic child in a one to one environment with a specialist who conducts social exercises. Search anything on I.B.I and you will more than likely find a study that states the earlier the intervention with the child, the higher the chance of successfully integrating the child into the social environment required to both learn and establish contact with others. What makes this so heartbreaking is that the reality behind today's chances for an Autistic child are gruesome.

For example: A child may be diagnosed as encompassing Autistic Spectrum Disorder, only to then be placed on a funding wait list, which will most likely kick in when the child turns 6 or 7. At that time the child will then have the ability to partake in I.B.I services or even have home services established. What happens next is where the problem becomes a nightmare, if it is determined that the child is either to sophisticated for the service or has a higher capability to socialize and learn, the service may be deemed unnecessary, leaving the child with no special support and returned back into the regular school system.

Any PARENT or HUMAN BEING would do anything for their child or dependents, but in this scenario there is either a waiting list with a chance or out of pocket treatment, which is back breaking. An average specialist working with an Autistic child could be earning/charging from $60-$120 per hour for services rendered. Now, I do not doubt at any moment that these specialists are not earning their wages, for the work they do is not only tedious, but of the utmost importance. You cannot have any average Joe take this responsibility without confidence in knowing that his/her capabilities and empathy are the best.  The Ontario government does provide the option of having funding put into the hands of the parents, however this funding usually equals $39.00/Hr, much less than the average session costs. Even families who consider themselves wealthy, become extremely burdened by the costs, which can average around $2000.00 BI-WEEKLY.

What I simply cannot believe is that our government oversees this process and has all of the information available to reevaluate conditions and or funding, yet nothing has changed. No special inquests to provide alternatives, no policy changes to find more money, basically no political will to look past the status quo.

Some might think: OK, so what? When in reality, Autistic children do not only affect the well being of their own family,but also the economy of Ontario and Canada as a whole.

You may think that spending time and money to teach a child to socialize and learn is a waste or could be better utilized elsewhere and I would respond to you with confidence that you are completely wrong!

Take a step back and look at the big picture...we have children who can benefit greatly from I.B.I services, who later can utilize the gift they have been given to not only implement change in their own lives, but in their workplaces and in their communities. Most children with Autism are brilliant, they simply do not encompass the ability to conduct minor objectives, mainly because their brain is structured differently from our own. The best example I have been given is that an Autistic child looks at a mirror (The World) much differently than you and I. While the mirror is in one piece for us, the Autistic child views a thousand minor pieces, which they then have to piece together in order to see a larger picture. Such detail orientation allows them to better understand problems and thus see things differently, but at the same time...imagine the social stigma of having to do this with every single aspect of your social life. It is hard enough making friends and seeking out relationships under the best of circumstances!!!!With the proper intervention however, these children are given social training, allowing them to not only cope with their differences, but overcome them.

We should never fear anything within our society that is different or challenges our system, because more often than not, the very difference that scares us, is the key to improving us!

If we allow these children to fall through the gaps, we only guarantee that eventually their care will be covered by the tax payer through hospitalization or unfortunately through the penal system, both of which are unnecessary and signs of social failure. We do not need more Jails in Canada or more hospitals necessarily, what we do need is a review of our system that allows us to reallocate funding where it is needed. By providing more funding to an amazingly effective procedure that has proven results, we could be avoiding a very harsh future for these children that will not doubt cost us the taxpayer a lot of money in the long run.

What I need for you, the reader, is to spread this post to your friends and family. We have an election coming up in Ontario almost certainly within months and next year we have a federal election against Harper.

It is time that "we the people" finally took a stand and assumed our role. Autism intervention services are not only a salvation for those most vulnerable among us, but an investment into our future social system and economy.

You may be like me and not have someone immediatly close to you that suffers from Autism, but I do know that this issue affects you and I both and most likely is staring us right in the face...in plain site. When we choose to ignore the circumstances, we put ourselves in the same position as those who choose to do nothing and people are suffering for this as a result.

Until Next Time Folks! Share this blog post!!!!

Thursday, 13 February 2014

NDP Take Niagara Falls Thornhill PC Stronghold Remains

Thursday's by-election can only be explained as exciting stuff. Niagara Falls has now gone orange and Tim Hudak's home town is now NDP territory.

While the PC's held onto the Thornhill riding, the overall theme from tonight's results is that the Liberals need to watch out and the NDP need to prepare.

I have no doubt, that a provincial election is near in Ontario, most likely within the next month or so and with this election comes the ability for the provincial NDP to either grab some more seats or possibly gain a minority.

Why? While it may seem complex, the answer is simple, people do not feel comfortable with Tim Hudak's platform of back to work legislation and lets face it...the Liberals have been in power for to long and as a result suffer from corruption and misdirection.

The Political Road Map officially announces that a spring election is a guarantee, with focus on the left being a top priority among voters. Ontarian's have made it clear that they do not want labour bashing to continue, but at the same time, want a government that is actually doing something to direct the future of this province.

Congratulations to the victorious candidates, while your victory is battle fought, the war is just arriving. Which in reality sucks...because you work so hard to gain a spot in the by-election, only to possibly lose it in the actual election, but let's all think positive instead.

Get ready for some crazy political happenings over the next few months folks!

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Why Do We Care?

I like to gamble, I know I am not alone in this past time, but ever since I was legally able to do so, I found myself enjoying the chance to put money on the line in an effort to win more of it. Multiply my opportunity with a little luck and some capitalist vibes.

I have always wanted to win the lottery as well, but for me I suppose winning the lottery will never become a reality, mainly because of what I intend to do with it. I have always said that if (when) I do win the millions of dollars, I will put the money aside and invest it into a series of projects that will help my local community and overall as many people as possible. Invest it into people so that not only do they have the chance to live a better life, but are also given a helping hand to grow and prosper on their own.

Sounds idealistic eh? I know it may sound farfetched, but I have to ask why, how can we not view something as positive as the redistribution of lottery winnings as a good thing? Why is it so hard to give to others in the general sense?

Winning the lottery is a dream that many people share, however it appears that for many people the option to give and care about other people outside their immediate family only becomes a reality, when their own situation becomes more stable. Having the financial freedom to choose is a powerful tool, but I put forward the question for everyone to reflect on regarding individual charity from average people to those in need.

Why do you donate to a cause or volunteer? Are you financially stable in your life or do you also have a lot of debt?

While it seems easy to simply state that volunteering or giving to others is easy for the health benefits it provides, realistically the majority of people actually going out and helping are doing so because of their own stability. What makes this important to discuss is that in the current economy, where job security is low and income equally as low, is the way we care about others and the donations we put forward evolving right in front of our own eyes?

I have a lot of experience from the past witnessing company events and union fundraisers that allowed employees from a primarily middle class income bracket to donate to a good cause without really hurting their own situation. If anything, these events in my opinion also served as a good tool to increase company productivity and overall workmanship. Nothing says team/family like coming together for a good cause and actually doing something.

Now, take a look at the majority of jobs being created today. A lot of these positions are contract or part time in nature, they operate in mostly a service oriented environment and cater to individuals of equal or higher net worth financially. For example: Working in a boutique or for a big box store like Costco.

I found it interesting to see an example of modern day charity from a Walmart of all places. You may remember in the news that a Walmart was hosting a canned food drive in it's stores for employees that relied heavily on food banks. This example to me does not appear to be an isolated one, as many positions today do not pay close to a living wage, which not only makes it more difficult to pay the bills, but also to have any desire to do more for the community aside from survive.

With the economy evolving and becoming more capitalist, how are we as a people supposed to invest in ourselves or our community, when we can barely have enough time to work long enough to pay the bills, while try to care for our own families? Not to mention that the disparity between the right and poor continues to grow almost on a daily basis now and with recent movements to push for equality between the 1% and the 99%, I feel the problem has become worse rather than better.

I do not want to paint a black and white picture to something so colourful and complex, but I keep seeing a a pattern emerge involving our present day social interactions with the economic conditions that ultimately alter them. If you aren't a member of upper society economically, your either to stressed and overworked to actually do anything to help others or your working at such a level that your not making ends meat and your actions seem to serve a bunch of people who have more money than you.

Do you feel like this sometimes? Where you want to give to good causes and help those in need, but then suddenly a fearful voice pops into your head warning you about the upcoming rent or that hydro bill?

If the income disparity gap isn't bad enough though, we also have to worry about charitable causes that state they are non-profit, yet act as if they are for profit with the distribution of their income.

I don't know...if your up this late and have had a chance to read this than I thank you for taking the time and as always am also curious to your thoughts on the subject.

Where do we stand today with the health of our overall charity as a society? Which direction is this charity heading for the future? What other conditions are affecting the direction of charitable donations and volunteering?

Friday, 17 January 2014

Fossil Fuels, Neil Young and Plastics

To start things off, let me quickly make mention of Neil Young and his current efforts to bring more attention to the oil sands and first nation rights. Good on ya Neil! It is about time someone with some international clout got on board to make Harper sweat a little, even though in a few weeks the media will probably pretend this intervention or concert never happened...anyways moving on.

Individuals who work out west in the oil sands are hard working people, they often times leave their families to work long hours and get all dirty just so a few companies can reap billions from the average consumer. If you think your life would surely change without fossil fuels, well your right, because the tentacles of the oil industry knows no limit within our society. From infrastructure to political donations, you can bet that someone either directly linked or as apart of a subsidiary was responsible for the intervention of some political decision that lead to more oil friendly acts.

Do not get me wrong though, I stand by the belief that energy extraction is not an easy job and resembles an art form almost given the complexities related to it. Lets focus on the art aspect of gasoline and oil in general though...while society relies on this earthly art to keep our economies going, it really pains me to know that every time I fill up, I am literally taking a match to a Mona Lisa. I mean the similarity between your average gasoline and an irreplaceable piece of art really is quite strong. While you may think oil is here to stay, your simply becoming a victim of a well thought out illusion that is killing your wallet and your mind.

I keep thinking about how awesome it must have felt when the first pieces of plastic were successfully recycled and expropriated into something else. That feeling that arises when human technology makes a leap and is able to reproduce an extremely complex natural system with an innate and lifeless object like plastic. And if you listen to a lot of the pro-oil comments, our society relies on oil for a multitude of other items aside from internal combustion. Really, if anything internal combustion is probably the main culprit to climate change, global warming, pollution, whatever you want to call it.

We are creating a problem for not only our current society, but also future ones simply because we allow the problem to exist in our head and within our paradigm of thought. The development of the world is heading in such a drastic and uncertain future and it is all because we as a species cannot come to the conclusion that something really has to be done. Maybe we need a natural disaster to remind us or we need to run out of oil entirely, even though we do not have the time to get that far.

An interesting direction that will most likely become the dominant one is technology. Human beings love technology as it makes the world spin faster and allows us to live longer, but at the same time we are conveniently fed a lot of information that also allows us to ignore the true price associated with technology. 

Why must we burn gasoline to make our cars move? 

Take a moment and really think about this for a few seconds. Why do we have to rely on taking a fuel source that is not indefinite and burning transforming it into something harmful to us, just so we have the ability to live within a society designed by the very people making their riches from said fuel source? 

It is not like you can go out and buy an electric car, because we all know the ones that do exist only do so with an unrealistic price tag and any other efforts to introduce them continues to be bought up and put away for an indefinite period of time.

Why can we not continue to do what we do everyday and advance it to a newer and more complex level. Take fossil fuels and transform it, not into fuel for combustion, but rather into something we can hold in our hands and use in our everyday life, but more importantly something we can discard into a system that will break it down and reuse it again. Oil will still be just as important as it is today, maybe even more so as it becomes more complex and widely used, while at the same time our environment is given a chance to breathe, literally.

We recycle various types of plastics currently, which are all in some part products of oil production. Take this plastic recycling to the next level and push for the R&D to not only build more complex polymers or plastics, but also institute systems that recycle them and thus extend their use.

The best example currently is the copious amounts of plastic that the average Canadian has to deal with regarding products from China. It seems like every single cheaply made Chinese product has to be mega wrapped in most useless and frustrating plastic container possible and you know most people end up throwing this stuff out, whether out of ignorance or frustration as opposed to recycling it.

Stephen Harper should not be surprised by the backlash he is receiving from Canadians regarding oil production and this new pipeline. The will to change is very strong in Canada, actually I should rephrase it to the will to evolve. Canadians are progressive in nature, we know when something can be better and we aren't afraid to take the leap and make that better change a reality, but every so often we are confronted with a political party that does not have the will to change, mainly because the status quo is promising them a lot of money like big oil is today.

While oil production will net a huge financial benefit in the short term, the long term chances of contamination, disaster or simply the chance to miss out on an opportunity that someone else grabs is still to much. We need to continue being an example to the world and showing them  that change is possible.

If Canadians are showing an overwhelming desire to change the direction of their country, the government should be taking notes and working at the grass roots to accommodate that change.

Forget about offering first nations the chance to be trained in resource extraction, how about redirecting the money already provided into drinkable water, schools or medical training? Is Harper's opinion of them so low that he can only think of using them as pawn within the oil sands?

I simply ask one request of you the reader, if you agree with what I am saying...please share this blog post so others can not only read it, but also get in on the discussion.

The Political Road Map is here to help you evaluate where you are, where your heading and ask if your country is heading in the same direction you are?

We need to have this discussion now, because time is running out, that is all there is to it.

Why Sochi 2014 is My Generations 1972 Summit Series

I was not around in 1972 to experience the dramatic and intense summit series between Canada and the Soviet Union, however I have read a lot about the event and heard many stories from hockey fanatics who had the pleasure of experiencing it live.

The Summit Series was an immensely important event in both sports history as well as political history, as Canada had it's chance to shine on the international scene and take the place of defender of freedom from the United States for the first time. Our battle was not won with weapons or mass propaganda, but with sticks to the ice and skates pushed to the extreme. Both teams played an excellent round of hockey and in the end the Canadian team not only maintained exclusive bragging rights, but provided the Soviet Union with a message that certainly humbled any sense of ego they maintained.

Sochi 2014 contains the same mood that dominated the Summit Series of 1972. This mood is displayed not so much in nationalism, since Russia is but a fraction of what the Soviet Union was at the time. No, the mood for Sochi takes the emphasis on bragging rights and switches it over to freedom and equality.

It is no secret that Vladamir Putin and his government have a severely prejudiced stance toward individuals from the LGBT community. So strong is this prejudice that Putin is not afraid to make his feelings public and garner strong support for the cause. Whether the strength for this support is genuine or rather out of fear is debatable, however what is known is that any kind of protest or public discussion will be under heavy scrutiny and surveillance.

While Canada played in the Soviet Union, it was well known that at any time Soviet guards could take any member of the team away and lock them up. It almost happened a few times, but was thwarted by the strength and bond of the team players who literally restrained their own people as guards attempted to detain them. The Sochi Olympic games I fear will be no stranger to this type of attitude and vulgarity.

Our athletes and for sure their American counterparts will not only be participating in Sochi for the chance to beat the Russians to the gold, but also to make a strong point that equality among all men and women is not only the right thing to accept, but the only truth to accept among the international community.

Although I am not a member of the LGBT community, I stand by the vigilant efforts made by activists attempting to have their rights brought to the surface in an effort to find solutions rather than hide and allow problems to escalate. Society is functioning just as good as ever and Canada is an example to the world regarding not only the acceptance of gay members of society, but also as an invitation to all people regardless of colour or orientation.

Sochi begins in the early days of February and while the event may simply be viewed as a sporting one, it will be so much more given the months leading up to it. Homosexuals will now be given a chance to make a stronger mark on the international scene and ensure that their voices are heard and for the sake of freedom and equality, it has become our duty as citizens of the free world to support them fully.

Russia will be given the opportunity to not only lose again to Canada, but also view the error in its ways, which in reality will most likely not come to many as a surprise, because the majority of Russians most likely support gay marriage and homosexuality. Having a government feed you fear propaganda regarding a group of individuals within your society can easily sway your thoughts on the subject, but that does not mean everyone is easily convinced.

So, on behalf of the Political Road Map, with much pleasure, I give my best wishes to all of the athletes of the Sochi Winter Olympics and I sit here content in knowing that among everything else, Russia and Vladimir Putin will be given a rude awakening with regards to the political direction chosen regarding homosexuals in general.

The Olympics are about inclusion, fair competition and solidarity among men and last I heard...members of the LGBT community shared every characteristic any other human being does; they laugh, they breathe and they cry when their name is called to the podium and they accept their medals.  Most importantly however, they love and when you look at the basics, there is no filter when it comes to an individual taking part in their biological and human given right to love another person.

Until Next Time...


Friday, 10 January 2014

The Departed: 46,000 Edition

First of all, from myself and The Political Road Map, I would like to greet you with a belated Happy New Year. Although...if you are unemployed like myself or severely underemployed, I can understand how 2014 might not seem like a happy year at all, let alone new.

Watching the news lately, there isn't very much new that appears to be happening on the job creation front in Canada and our prime enslaver Stephen Harper continues to feed us bullshit with a smile on, at least he is consistent with something right?

Today the numbers came out that in December 46,000 jobs were lost in Canada. This means that 46,000 people either lost their job or discovered that it was no longer in existence. January tends to be a slow month as everyone knows, retail suffers severely and most people exist in a kind of slumber or "meh" state.

What does not surprise me is the fact that most likely many seasonal positions and temporary contracts reached maturity, which can explain job losses toward the end of the month in December. What does surprise me however, is that in 2013, five out of the 12 months available resulted in job losses as opposed to job creation. What this means is that although it is normal to experience a month or two, where job losses exist, we have experienced significant enough data to show a job loss trend that is still consistent.  We being Stats Canada and the vast majority of unemployed within Canada.

I have been hearing from many people that the recession is over and that getting a job should be easier, but when I actually look at the current job prospects available, I find myself looking west to Alberta for a tough and satisfying job in the oil industry or Asia for a better chance of opportunity. Not to mention, the entire foundation of applying for a job has changed so drastically that it fits perfectly with the throw away consumer culture we currently live in. The internet is one thing, but with the advent of smart phones and tablets, I have been able to apply for jobs with literally the click of a button, thus sending my general resume on file to the potential employer and allowing me to continue on with ease.  Believe it or not, I spent most of 2013 working different jobs with this method. I literally clicked on the apply now button and heard back within a few days for potential interviews. This method allows for someone to find employment, but also gives a detailed look at the types of jobs currently available on the market, these jobs usually end up being part time and if full time is available, it still only pays minimum wage, which unfortunately does not equal a living wage when it comes to raising a family, paying bills and eating all at once.

With more effort, I am sure much better jobs will be available to me and I have completed my fair share of detailed resumes and cover letters and have been fortunate with the chance at receiving interviews, but overall, it appears that when our government is praising itself, it does so over such low end jobs, because numbers in the end do lie. The Conservatives witness X amount of jobs being created and then stand back and put their arms up and say: "Hey! Look over here, the numbers on our end show that many jobs were created, so you know...get to work!"

The way we do things within society will always change (hopefully for the better), but the fact that bothers me the most is how irresponsible our current government is when it comes to actually doing anything at all. If the Conservatives took the time to read the data very obviously standing right in front of them, they would see that their economic action plan is only benefiting very few within society, while the majority of us are stuck in what seems to be a never ending loop of minimum wage part time jobs.  In fact, with all of this hustle and bustle over pipelines and oil, much of the money being invested will most likely exit the Canadian market. Granted jobs will be created, but when you look at the amount of multinational corporations involved in the extraction process of the oil sands, the majority of their refinement and processing is done out of country. The main reason why this is simply goes back to the idea that the market is the best way to direct development and employment. If the market says you need to move production to China in order to continue a high level of profit, then you move production to China. Stephen Harper seems to believe that the only way to run this country is to simply let go and let the market guide us, which is neither the best way nor the right way of directing a country or it's people.

If you are reading this post and part time or minimum wage greatly explains your current employment, I do not want you to feel bad, but do understand that you are not alone and in many cases this is not your fault. How can we even think that the "Great Recession" is over, when our government is spending more time employing smoke and mirror tactics as opposed to programs that transpire into job creation. Did you know that the Conservatives plan on spending millions of dollars for an ad campaign telling Canadians how successful the economic action plan is? Why are these millions not being redirected into programs aimed at rejuvenating cities hit hard with loses in manufacturing or retraining programs for sectors other than resource extraction. Yes, we know we have a lot of resources in Canada, but for the sake of our future can Stephen Harper stop trying so hard to make us out to be a resource nation and just accidentally become one like past governments. Never has our country seen a prime minister who favors the status quo so much, while at the same time preaching that he is going to change the face of this country forever.

I am sorry to burst your bubble if you felt that Harper's economic action plan would create jobs, because all it does is simply put emphasis on projects the government should be doing by default and lauds it as heroic. For example: Building bridges, fixing pot holes and renovating infrastructure should not be considered stimulus, it should be considered the regular to-do list on the governments agenda, but I am just an unemployed university graduate, so obviously my opinion doesn't stand for much.

The real people who can actually get the government to change consist of the middle class and the top earners within our country. The only problem with them however, is that the first group is on the verge of losing its job in general and the second group is apparently afraid of socialism, because socialism explained by Harper is nothing more than a disease that can be caught and leads to protest. Heck, B.C apparently wouldn't be itself if protests did not occur, as quoted by Harper during the recent security breach at one of his events.

For now, all we can do is continue writing, continue speaking out regarding the problems within our system. Many people are going to put on a mad face and say your doing nothing but complaining, but the reality is that if noone says anything, then everyone will continue on as if nothing is wrong. We need to bring the important topic to the surface in order to not only recognize that it is a problem, but also begin work on actually finding a solution. The main issue I currently have with the regime running Ottawa right now, is that they conveniently find ways of making up their own numbers, their own research and their own realities as opposed to taking the time to review the true reality that many Canadians are facing.

This not only puts Canada's long term future at risk, but also greatly affects the political and economic direction that our country takes. These examples of ignorance and misdirection throw our economic and social compass out of whack and without proper consideration and discussion, threaten to not only worsen the economic and social condition of Canadians, but also employ a status quo of ignorance and fear and that frankly does nothing. 

To the 46,000 departed, I stand with you and hope the best for your job situation and to the rest of you...until next time!